Standing Up For Women Athletes

On Friday, Zero Hedge posted an article about a soccer team in the NorthWest Association, a league in Australia.

The article reports:

Calling itself the “biggest LGBTQIA+ women’s and non-binary football club in the world,” the Flying Bats FC has made international headlines for fielding 5 self-identifying transgender players, with at least nine transgender players in the wider NorthWest Association.

Critics have said the Bat’s domination of the four-week pre-season Beryl Ackroyd Cup, which followed an undefeated season in 2023 that produced scorelines disproportionate to other teams’ results, was a direct result of the inclusion of male-born transgender players.

According to the feminist and pro-woman online news source, Reduxxpresident of St. Patrick’s Football Club Frank Parisi said a March discussion over the Flying Bats FC’s ease of victories had prompted an informal meeting with stakeholders of the Northwest Sydney Football Association to address “concerns around how implausible it has become for any team to win against the Flying Bats as well as physical safety concerns.”

Incensed by the Flying Bats’ domination, other clubs asked the league’s governing body Football NSW to force them into playing in a mixed-sex league.

One club official told the Daily Telegraph, “Our girls are here to play for fun and expect to play in the female competition. They did not sign up for a mixed competition. It was so disheartening for them to see the huge difference in ability—they’re killing it.”

The involvement of transgender athletes in sports is a current hot-button issue, as policymakers grapple with how to balance the effects on women’s players, versus the “rights” of female-identifying players born as biological men

Any soccer team with biological males on it is going to beat a team composed of only biological women. Although there are occasionally women who have the muscle structure to compete with men, they are rare. This is totally unfair competition. It is like adding five professional baseball players to a high school team so that they can have a winning season. Kudos to the women who walked away from the unfair competition.

Cooking The Books

The Biden administration claims that the economy is really doing well. Some of us who buy gasoline or shop at grocery stores might not agree with that statement. The other claim has been that there is a booming job market. Our city is have layoffs in some of our local companies, is yours? There seems to be something fishy here. On March 29th, Zero Hedge posted an article explaining what was fishy. This is one of those articles when I post what I don’t totally understand, so please be patient. I have very little to add–the article says it all.

The article reports:

The first red flags emerged in the summer of 2022: that’s when the Biden Labor Department started well and truly rigging the labor market data.

Regular readers may recall that it was back in July of 2022, when we first warned that something had “snapped” in the labor market: that’s when a striking discrepancy emerged between the number of US Payrolls (as measured by the BLS’ Establishment Survey, a far more crude and imprecise, yet much more market-moving data series), and the number of actual Employed Workers (as measured by the BLS’ far more accurate Household Survey) . As we showed then, after the two series had tracked each other tick for tick for years, a wide gap opened in March 2022 which quickly grew to 1.5 million jobs in just 3 months…

The article includes the following chart:

 

The article further explains:

And while some of this discrepancy could be explained with the record surge in multiple jobholders, which increased by 1 million since March 2022 to an all time high of 8.6 million at the end of 2023 (as a reminder, the Establishment Survey counts 1 worker have 2 or 3 (or more) multiple jobs as, well, 2 or 3 (or more) separate jobs, even if it is just one worker trying to make ends meet under the roaring inflation of Bidenomics), most of the gap remained unexplained.

There was more: it was around the summer of 2022 that the Biden labor department – in its zeal to show job growth no matter the cost, or quality of jobs – also started fooling around with the composition of the labor market, with most of the monthly gains going to part-time workers, even as full-time workers stagnated or declined. The culmination, as we reported earlier this month, is that in February 2024, the US had 132.9 million full-time jobs and 27.9 million part-time jobs. Which is great… until you look back one year and find that in February 2023 the US had 133.2 million full-time jobs, or more than it does one year later! And yes, all the job growth since then has been in part-time jobs, which have increased by 921K since February 2023 (from 27.020 million to 27.941 million).

The article concludes:

Putting it all together, we now know – as the Philly Fed reported first – that the labor market is far weaker than conventionally believed. In fact, no less than 800,000 payrolls are “missing” when one uses the far more accurate Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages data rather than the BLS’ woefully inaccurate and politically mandated payrolls “data”, and if one looks back the the monthly gains across most of 2023, one gets not 230K jobs added on average every month but rather 130K.

Of course, none of that paints Bidenomics in a flattering picture, because while one can at least pretend that issuing $1 trillion in debt every 100 days to add 3 million jos per year is somewhat acceptable, learning that that ridiculous amount buys 800,000 jobs less is hardly the endorsement that the White House needs.

Which is also why nobody in the mainstream media – which is now nothing more than the PR smokescreen for the Biden puppetmasters, the government and the deep state – will ever mention this report.

As such, we urge all readers to read Philly Fed analysis (link here) and to analyze the excel data (link here) at their own leisure, because in a fascist state, the media no longer works for the people.

Think of these numbers when you vote in November.

Behind The Jobs Numbers

On Saturday, Zero Hedge posted an honest analysis of the jobs report that recently came out. It may be the only honest analysis out there. All of us know that the Biden economy is a problem for middle America–food inflation is in double digits, gas prices are lower than they have been but still a dollar or so a gallon more than they were under President Trump, and utility bills have increased dramatically in some places. President Biden may tell us that the economy is wonderful, but many of us living in it are not convinced. Just as an example, the total increase in my husband’s and my Social Security this year (after deducting the cost of Medicare) was about $115. I suspect that a lot of retirees didn’t even see that much of an increase. I can assure you that our grocery bill has gone up more than that.

The article at Zero Hedge is complicated and detailed. I suggest that  you follow the link and read it for yourselves. I will try to highlight some of it.

The article reports:

The headline data was stellar across the board, starting with the unemployment rate which once again failed to rise – denying expectations from “Sahm’s Rule” that a recession may have already started – all the way to average hourly earnings, which unexpectedly spiked from 4.1% (pre-revision) to 4.5%, the highest since last September, and a slap in the face to the Fed’s disinflation narrative…

… or it would be if one didn’t think of checking how the average rose: well, it turns out that, since average hourly earnings is a fraction, it did not rise due to a jump in actual wages but – since it is earnings over a period of time – “rose” because the BLS decided to sharply slash the number of estimated hours that everyone was workingfrom 34.3 to just 34.1, which may not sound like a lot until one realizes that the last time the workweek was this low was when the economy was shut down during covid Excluding the covid lockdowns, one would have to go back to 2010 to find a workweek that was this anemic.

The article concludes:

…Said otherwise, not only has all job creation in the past 4 years has been exclusively for foreign-born workers, but there has been zero job-creation for native born workers since July 2018!

This is a huge issue – especially at a time of an illegal alien flood at the border – and is about to become a huge political scandal, because once the inevitable recession finally hits, there will be millions of furious unemployed Americans demanding a more accurate explanation for what happened – i.e., the illegal immigration floodgates that were opened by the Biden admin.

Which is also why the Biden admin will do everything in his power to insure there is no official recession before November… and is why after the election is over, all economic hell will finally break loose. Until then, however, expect the jobs numbers to get more and more ridiculous.

Where The Money Is Actually Going

On Friday, Zero Hedge reported the following:

President Joe Biden is heaping another $5 billion onto a $136 billion pile of taxpayer-funded student loan debt forgiveness, as one of his signature 2024 (vote buying) schemes heading into the 2024 election.

Not only has moral hazard been reduced to an academic concept, shouldn’t taxpayer funds be used to bail out poverty-stricken Americans before people with college degrees who signed their names to a contract for non-dischargeable debt? We digress.

Around 74,000 student loan borrowers will now see debt canceled as a result of administrative changes enacted by the US Department of Education in the latest round of relief – including borrowers enrolled in the government’s income-driven repayment and public service loan forgiveness programs, Bloomberg reports.

Each program requires at least a decade of payment or service to be eligible for relief. Mismanaged federal student-loan plans have left some borrowers without promised relief after making payments for as long as 25 years. -Bloomberg

“My administration is able to deliver relief to these borrowers – and millions more – because of fixes we made to broken student loan programs that were preventing borrowers from getting relief they were entitled to under the law,” Biden said in a Friday statement written by other people.

Of those receiving taxpayer-funded assistance, roughly 60% are taxpayer-funded “public servants” – so the snake continues to eat its tail. So, buying votes with voters’ money.

Since when is the federal government able to change the details of a contract mid-stream? Since this is essentially an expenditure, why is it coming from the Executive Branch? The House of Representatives is supposed to be in charge of spending. This should quickly be found unconstitutional by the courts, but I seriously doubt anyone will bring the case.

Who Is UNRWA?

On December 27th, Zero Hedge posted an article about The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) .

The article reports:

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was originally a small agency mandated to provide basic humanitarian relief for Palestinians, including a vote for renewal every three years. Seventy-three years and four generations later, and with more than 30,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $1 billion, it has astonishingly become one of the largest UN agencies.

The article notes:

In the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, UNRWA has, in fact, long been operating as the de facto government. By providing the residents of the Gaza Strip with various services, UNRWA exempted Hamas from its responsibilities as the governing body, such as creating a working economy that would pay for education and healthcare, and allowed it, instead, to invest resources in building tunnels and manufacturing weapons. If UNRWA were not there, Hamas would have been forced to fill the vacuum and, for example, build hospitals and schools and find solutions to economic hardship, including unemployment and poverty.

As senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk said, in explaining why no cement could be spared from terror tunnels to build bomb shelters for Gazan citizens:

“The tunnels were built to protect the fighters of Hamas from [Israeli] airstrikes. As you know, 75% of the residents of the Gaza Strip are refugees. It is the responsibility of the United Nations to protect the refugees.”

Hamas was effectively saying: We are responsible for what happens underground, while UNRWA is responsible for what happens above ground.

In addition to evolving into a monster-sized agency, UNRWA has also morphed into a very costly incubator for terror. UNRWA-run schools emphasize and promote the “right of return,” a euphemism for flooding Israel with millions of Palestinians and turning it into a Muslim-majority Islamist state backed by Iran.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. Is there any doubt that we need to stop supporting the United Nations? American taxpayer dollars are funding terrorism.

This Could Be Interesting

One of the things that allows Russia to continue its war against Ukraine is the high price of oil. The sale of Russian oil finances that war. When America was energy independent, the price of oil was lower, and the Russian economy was struggling. Since the Biden administration declared war on American oil, the price of oil internationally has skyrocketed. That has been bad news for consumers, but good news may be on the way.

On Thursday, Zero Hedge reported the following:

Confirming a move which had been widely expected after the internal acrimony at the last OPEC+ meeting, moments ago Angola – also known as China’s gas station in Africa – announced it was leaving OPEC, the country’s news agency ANGOP reported on Thursday, quoting the African producer’s oil minister Diamantino de Azevedo.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Council of Ministers, led by the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, the news agency noted. Jornal de Angola also reported the news.

As OilPrice notes, Angola and another African OPEC member, Nigeria, had a spat with the other cartel members before the latest meeting regarding their oil production quotas.

The chart below shows the impact of announcement on oil prices:

 

This could be good news for consumers. It also might result in peace negotiations in Ukraine if the trend continues.

The article concludes:

However, it seems now that Angola doesn’t see an OPEC membership as beneficial anymore after the recent spats over its production quota.  

Angola, which joined OPEC in 2007, holds untapped oil and gas resources estimated at 9 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves and 11 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves.  

The news sent oil, which had caught a bid in recent days on fears about a protracted Red Sea blockage, sharply lower and back to Tuesday levels.

Stay tuned. This could change rapidly depending on the freedom of transport in the Red Sea.

Irony

On Saturday, Just the News posted the following headline:

UN climate confab may have largest carbon footprint in event’s history, more than 400 jets

Aren’t those the people who want us to drive mini electric cars and eat bugs?

The article reports:

The upcoming United Nations (UN) climate conference in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), known as COP28, appears likely to have a larger carbon footprint than any previous UN climate change summit.

More than 70,000 people are expected to show up to COP28, about 25,000 more people than last year’s summit, COP27. The conference, which runs from Nov. 30 through Dec. 12, will focus on global strategies to reduce emissions and accelerate the shift away from fossil fuels in favor of green energy.

About 40,000 people attended COP26 in 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland,  while nearly 45,000 people attended the 2015 summit in Paris, France, where the Paris Climate Accords were signed.

Conference attendees have drawn scrutiny in previous years for traveling to and from the event in private jets while lecturing on the importance of reducing emissions. Notably, a luxury concierge service has been offering to arrange private jet charters ahead of this year’s conference.

In addition to flying in and out of the UAE, many attendees will also stay in high-end hotels and have access to “environmentally sustainable, socially responsible, delicious and nutritious food and beverage,” according to COP28’s website.

On October 16, 2021, Zero Hedge posted the following headline:

UN Climate Change Conference Reportedly Using Diesel Generators To Charge Teslas Being Used As Shuttles

Some highlights of that article are posted here.

The article also notes:

One of the key issues to be discussed at COP28 is the shape of a so-called “loss and damages” fund, a de facto international climate reparations program. Special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry recently suggested that the U.S. will pay “millions” into the fund, a number that many activists and representatives of poorer countries find to be inadequate. China is unlikely to have any significant obligations to the fund because it is classified as a developing country, despite its status as the world’s top emitter and second-largest economy.

If you have not yet figured out that the purpose of climate change is to take money away from the countries that have it and give it to China and other ‘developing’ countries, you have not been paying attention.

Is This An Acceptable Statement?

On Saturday, Zero Hedge posted an article about a recent statement by President Biden. This is a statement the White House immediately tried to revise.

The article reports:

In another humiliating gaffe, the 80-year-old Biden suggested that black and hispanic workers don’t have high school diplomas.

“We’ve seen record lows in unemployment particularly — and I’ve focused on this my whole career — particularly for African Americans and Hispanic workers and veterans, you know, the workers without high school diplomas,” he said in televised remarks.

…The White House, of course, went into damage control mode – doctoring the official transcript to read something Biden never said, and claiming that there was supposed to be the word “and” separating the minority groups and veterans, from ‘those without high school diplomas.’

“We’ve seen record lows in unemployment particularly — and I’ve focused on this my whole career — particularly for African Americans and Hispanic workers and veterans, you know, and the workers without high school diplomas,” reads the official transcript.

Blacks, hispanics, veterans, and possibly those without high school diplomas took offense, and general mockery ensued.

The article includes the following chart:

An apology is needed.

The Cost Of “Woke”

Don Surber posted an article at Substack today about the cost of the ‘woke’ culture. Please follow the link to read the entire article. I will post a few highlights here.

The article notes:

As I watched the sudden collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank, I marveled once again at how a geezer’s administration run by tokens of diversity can wreck the economy by turning mundane functions — say, unloading transport ships — into extraordinary catastrophes, such as a supply chain backlog.

Train wrecks happen, sure, but it takes a special innate incompetence to have the EPA set fire to the toxic contents spilled over the tracks in East Palestine, Ohio, sending a black cloud into the air that was seen for miles around as it spread the danger over hundreds of square miles.

I am awestruck by the ineptitude of a Department of Transportation that spends billions of dollars not to build roads but to destroy them in the name of fighting racism.

The return of inflation after a 40-year hiatus tops the list of Biden’s calamities. Thus far the administration’s answer is to keep borrowing and spending as if there is no tomorrow in the fervent and erroneous belief that this will make it go away, when in fact all it does is fuel inflation.

No idea is too kooky for these Ivy League-educated idiots. The Los Angeles Times reported, “How white and affluent drivers are polluting the air breathed by L.A.’s people of color.”

The story said, “Angelenos who drive less tend to be exposed to more pollution.

“It may sound like a paradox, but it’s not. It’s a function of the racism that shaped this city and its suburbs, and continues to influence our daily lives — and a stark reminder of the need for climate solutions that benefit everyone.”

The people who live near freeways are poor and the LA Times presumes they all are people of color. Look for Biden and his Band of Bimbos to destroy freeways in Southern California in his second term and turn them into more camps for the homeless. This will continue until liberals decide that because most homeless people are white that homelessness is white privilege and start destroying the camps.

Behind every disaster, of course, is a token that Biden appointed to be the first fill-in-the-blank.

The article points out:

The money poured into SVB (Silicon Valley Bank) like it did to Studio 54 in the coke-craven 1970s and 1980s. Unlike that New York disco, the money was legal and not kept in garbage bags, but the amounts deposited were outside the FDIC’s coverage.

97% of its deposits were uninsured. As the big banks spin this as the fault of the FDIC, remember they seek insurance coverage of money they did not insure. SVB paid insurance premiums for only 3% of its deposits. That is all the money it is entitled to. These are the rules the banks wanted because if the banks wanted the coverage, they would have gotten Congress to cover them.

If you go uninsured and you wreck your car, you pay to fix it. The same should be true with bank deposits. I get that the feds limit their insurance to the first $250,000 of each depositor’s money. But why isn’t there a secondary insurer? Why don’t the Aflac duck and the Geico gecko get together and provide insurance for deposits above $250,000? They could hire Flo to pitch their insurance.

The article concludes:

Zero Hedge pointed out that as it died, SVB still pushed DEI — diversity, equity and inclusion. Zero Hedge said, “You see, SVB believes ‘inclusion ignites innovation,’ although I guess liquidity wasn’t part of the ethos.”

Go woke. Go broke. Have the Fed bail you out.

This situation is the son of the $700 billion bailout from 2008-2009.

Pundits say the bankers learned nothing from that debacle but they learned plenty — mainly that they can ignore the rules because Uncle Sam will always bail them out.

This time, the bailout did not include taxpayer money. Instead, the Fed will print up another $25 billion to feed the fires of inflation. Next time, taxpayer money will be needed because all those banks that are Too Big To Fail are not big enough to cover Biden’s many, many calamities.

And no one will be held accountable.

No, The Biden Administration Has Not Stopped Inflation

On Tuesday, Zero Hedge posted an article about the current Consumer Price Index and other aspects of the inflation we are currently dealing with. Please follow the link to read the article as it includes multiple charts showing where we are and where we have been.

The article reports:

Inflation accelerated on a monthly basis.

  • CPI increased 0.5%, the most in three months, versus 0.1% in the prior month; on a core basis, it was up 0.4% (versus 0.3%). Both were in line with estimates. On an annual basis, CPI increased 6.4% from the year-ago period versus 6.5% in December, higher than forecasts.
  • Aside from the headline numbers, analysts and markets were also looking at the so-called super-core figure, or core services minus housing. It’s a category that Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has singled as a must-watch. That showed some easing, increasing at a slower 0.27% pace in the month and 6.2% from the prior year.
  • Housing contributed the most to the monthly increase in CPI, making up nearly half the gain. Food, gasoline and natural gas also boosted the monthly figure.

…Policymakers have flagged that the road from here on inflation would be bumpy, with some months and categories showing persistent price pressure, though that the overall trend is down. This report, in addition to a blowout January jobs gain, showed that inflation remains persistent in the US economy, and will need further action from the central bank.

The article includes the following charts:

I can only imagine the struggles of raising a family in this economy.

 

Unintended Consequences

On Wednesday, Zero Hedge reported the following:

As discussed yesterday in “Buyers Balk At Russian Oil Purchases Despite Record Discounts, Sanction Carve Outs” the bevy of Russian sanctions have had the unintended consequence of also freezing Russian oil exports – despite explicit carve outs in terms set by Western nations – as buyers balk and boycott Russian crude sales amid fears that the country’s energy supplies may eventually fall under a sanctions regime anyway, leaving buyers stuck with millions in barrels they can’t then sell to downstream clients.

Today was a clear example of just that: citing traders with knowledge of tenders, Bloomberg reported that Surgutneftegaz (better known as Surgut) failed to award two tenders with combined volume of 880k tons of Urals for March loading.

…In short, there is a sense across the petroleum supply chain that sanctions aren’t done yet or aren’t well-enough understood yet. That’s why things are getting blocked. 

Meanwhile, Energy Aspects estimates that 70% of Russia’s crude trade is frozen but that will drop to 20% when there’s greater visibility on sanctions.

While that’s a reasonable proposition but there is an x-factor: could the final sanctions package actually be even more punitive for the country’s exports? Even if 20% were to end up frozen, that would still be a very bullish final scenario for the oil market; as a reminder, Goldman recently noted that even assuming full Russian output, the market remains undersupplied and continued disruptions will push oil much higher.

So what does the market think? Well, the 10x increase in Brent $200 June calls in the past week should give you a sense of what may be coming.

This is one of those articles I am sharing without having a really good idea of what it says or what it means. However, it seems as if this is information worth noting as the price of oil and gasoline continue their upward climb.

This Isn’t The Way To Negotiate

On Saturday, Zero Hedge reported that the Biden administration restored sanction waivers for Iran’s civilian nuclear program. The idea was that restoring those waivers would pave the way for a nuclear agreement with Iran. Those of us with a more cynical viewpoint see restoring the waivers as the Biden administration negotiating with itself in order to get Iran to the negotiating table.

The article reports:

The waivers mean any foreign countries, including Russia, China, and countries in Europe, that work with Iran on its nuclear program cannot be targeted by US sanctions. The waivers are an aspect of the JCPOA and were rescinded by the Trump administration in 2020.

The article concludes:

The waiver is a hopeful sign for the JCPOA. Negotiators are expected to return to Vienna soon in what could be the final round of talks, although Iran said earlier this week that “significant issues” remain.

Iran hawks were quick to criticize the move, and State Department spokesman Ned Price insisted that the waivers were not “sanctions relief.”

“We did NOT provide sanctions relief for Iran and WILL NOT until/unless Tehran returns to its commitments under the JCPOA. We did precisely what the last Administration did: permit our international partners to address growing nuclear nonproliferation and safety risks in Iran,” Price wrote on Twitter.

What’s the difference between a civilian nuclear program and a nuclear weapons program? Not a whole lot. Considering the world’s perception of the Biden administration and the strength of America, Iran will probably have a functioning nuclear weapon and the means to deliver it in the very near future.

 

Just When You Thought Things Couldn’t Get More Bizarre…

On Wednesday, Zero Hedge reported the following:

Illegal immigrants worried about having proper identification to fly can now use an arrest warrant as an alternate form of ID when presenting to airport security, according to a TSA letter obtained by the Daily Caller.

Responding to Republican Texas Rep. Lance Gooden’s Dec. 15 inquiry about illegal migrants flying across the country, TSA Administrator David Pekoske explained that certain Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents may be considered acceptable forms of alternate identification for non-citizens, including a “Warrant for Arrest of Alien” and a “Warrant of Removal/Deportation.” -Daily Caller

…The TSA’s Pekoske wrote: “TSA is committed to ensuring that all travelers, regardless of immigration status, are pre-screened before they arrive to the airport, have their pre-screening status and identification verified at security checkpoints, and receive appropriate screening based on risk before entering the sterile area of the airport.”

I truly believe that the TSA has lost its mind. Over the years, the organization has often separated a female passenger from her skin cream because of terrorism concerns, yet they are accepting arrest warrants as acceptable forms of identification for people who are in the country illegally. This makes absolutely no sense.

More Politics Inside The Department Of Justice

On Sunday, Zero Hedge reported that the Department of Justice has stated that it will not withdraw a controversial memo used to activate the FBI Counterterrorism Division to investigate parents voicing their opposition to a variety of topics – primarily mask and vaccine mandates, and teaching critical race theory. Very questionable people are streaming across our southern border, and the Department of Justice is worried about parents who oppose mask and vaccine mandates and critical race theory. That is not only unbelievable–it’s dangerous to the security of our nation.

The article reports:

This week, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) revealed the pre-Christmas response – stating:

“[I]n December we asked why the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division was getting involved in parents expressing their concerns at school board meetings. Now, just to be crystal clear, there’s no excuse for real threats or acts of violence at school board meetings, but if there are such threats, these should be handled at the local level and the Attorney General should withdraw his memo that started this whole thing.

“Well, a couple days before Christmas, the Justice Department responded to us with just a one-page letter.

“In that letter, DOJ had nothing to say about why the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division was involved in local school-board matters. DOJ just said, ‘We’re not going to withdraw the memo.’ So, the Feds may be keeping track of school board meetings—even if it creates a horrible chilling effect. And, of course the FBI looking over your shoulder would have a chilling effect. Next week the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on domestic terrorism. I hope we’re going to be focusing on the serious threats facing our country—and I hope no one thinks the focus is on our nation’s parents.”

The article also notes:

According to a public statement by Grassley regarding the one-page letter:

“The Department of Justice owes the American people a better answer than just a one-page letter that says nothing about why the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division is involved in local school-board matters. Now more than ever, parents should be their kids’ strongest and best advocates. They have the God-given right to do so. And the Justice Department ought to be doing everything it can to protect that right, not scare them out of exercising that right. Attorney General Garland should withdraw his memo. And he should take Congress’s oversight, and concern for the rights of parents, more seriously.”

Saturday night I watched the movie “The Lives of Others.” It is a foreign film with subtitles about life in East Germany under the Stasi, East Germany’s secret police. The movie was made in 2006. It is on Amazon Prime. If you haven’t yet seen it, I strongly recommend it–it gives a glance into what life is like when justice is political.

Da*n The Consumer And Full Speed Ahead

On Sunday, Zero Hedge posted an article about the impact of some of the Biden administration’s regulations on American consumers.

The article reports:

At a time when the Biden administration is panicking in an attempt to keep energy prices down, the House has slapped a “fee” on methane that is being called a “stealth tax” on natural gas and everyone who uses it.

The House bill results in an “escalating tax on methane emissions by oil and gas producers,” a new op-ed in the Wall Street Journal points out. The tax will hit $1,500 per ton by 2025 and the fee is supposed to be a contribution to recent promises made in Glasgow to curb methane emissions.

The cost of the fee will obviously get passed along to the consumer, which will then result in even higher energy prices than consumers are already struggling with. 180 million  Americans use natural gas to hear their homes, the report says.

The article concludes:

The WSJ op-ed board calls it a “regressive tax” and says that “Department of Energy notes the average energy burden for low-income families is three times higher than for more affluent households”.

The methane tax “exposes the contradiction at the heart of Democratic climate policy” and clearly violates President Biden’s promise not to raise taxes on those making less than $400,000 per year, the op-ed argues.

The op-ed concludes by arguing that once the methane tax is in place, it’ll be easy to raise over time. Combined with new methane regulations, it’ll continue to raise costs and introduce inefficiencies for producers.

The methane tax is “targeted, punitive and can be linked to higher consumer energy bills,” the op-ed concludes.

We are headed into a cold, dark winter brought to you by the Biden administration’s misguided energy policies.

A Very Good Question

Zero Hedge posted an article today about President Biden’s recent trip to the climate summit.

The article notes:

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member John Barrasso has called for detailed information on the carbon footprint of Joe Biden’s trip to the COP climate Summit in Scotland, labelling it “bloated” and “counterproductive”.

Considering that the climate summit was a mass meeting of private jets, I think that is a valid question. There is also the matter of diesel generators being brought in to power the Teslas (article here). I really think that if those who attended the summit were actually as concerned about global warming and everyone’s carbon footprint, they might make other travel arrangements than they actually did (I know there is such a thing as car-pooling, is there plane-pooling?). The article notes that it would have made sense to hold the summit virtually.

It seems that the attendees to the climate summit decry the carbon footprint of ‘the common man’ while jetting around in private planes and charging Teslas with diesel generators. Seems a little off balance.

Considering All Aspects Of Electric Cars

Zero Hedge posted an article today about one of the negative aspects of switching to electric cars.

The article reports:

Last month, a massive fire broke out at a German bus depot, destroying 20 electric buses. First responders weren’t prepared nor properly trained in extinguishing lithium-ion fires. The fire prompted one German official to question the zero-emissions vehicles as the “spontaneously” combustion of the batteries “is completely unaddressed,” according to RT News

“The risk of these fires, including in other locations such as bicycle basements or large apartment blocks, is completely unaddressed,” Heinrich Duepmann of Germany’s Electricity Consumer Protection Association told RT. “Also, insurance companies are not yet tackling the issue.”

Duepmann said the fires are “not regulated,” and fire barriers between electric busses and ones that run on diesel will be constructed to reduce the risk. 

The article notes an incident in Baltimore, Maryland, last month when after an automobile crash involving a Tesla, it took firefighters more than two hours to put out the fire that ensued.

The article concludes:

Baltimore County Volunteer Firefighters Association was so fed up with the incident because they’re not equipped nor have the proper training to handle such fires. They tweeted, “Let’s hope @elonmusk can work with the fire service and together we can develop a better response.” 

But it’s not just Baltimore firefighters who are not adequately trained in battling lithium-ion fires as more and more electric vehicles enter the roadways. There are firehouses across the country that are not prepared.

The only weapon that firehouses have is water and to let the fire burn out, but that could take hours. 

A few months ago, 20 tons of water were used to extinguish a Tesla fire in Taiwan. For some context, it only takes 3 tons of water to put out a gasoline car fire. A Texas fire chief told The Independent that a Tesla fire needed 40 times more water to control the blaze in a separate incident.

What becomes evident is first responders aren’t prepared for the brave new world of green transportation and the occasional battery fire. This has been proven around the globe as electric car companies, such as Tesla and VW, among others, should brief local governments on how to tackle lithium-ion fires. 

We may eventually get to a point where green energy makes sense, but we are not there yet.

Hypocrisy At Its Best

Zero Hedge posted the following headline today:

UN Climate Change Conference Reportedly Using Diesel Generators To Charge Teslas Being Used As Shuttles

The article reports:

As many people know, the Conference of the Parties (COP) Climate Change Conference, hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy, is taking place in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12.

One blogger from Brighton wrote this week that attendees from the conference will be staying at Gleneagles Hotel.

He wrote that there’s 20 Teslas at the hotel to shuttle people back and forth to and from the convention, which is about 75km. 

Then, the kicker. Since the hotel only has one Tesla charging station, diesel generators were contracted to help recharge the Teslas overnight. 

The stated purpose of the conference is, among other things, “to review the implementation of the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.”

The climate change conferences now count themselves, according to the UNFCCC’s website, as “among the largest international meetings in the world.”

“The intergovernmental negotiations have likewise become increasingly complex and involve an ever-increasing number of officials from governments all over the world, at all levels, as well as huge numbers of representatives from civil society and the global news media,” the conference’s website says.

Maybe since we’re gathered to talk about the negative effect on the climate, we could at least start by finding a carbon neutral way to shuttle yourself back and forth to the event.

Another illustration of an idea that sounds good but needs a lot of work to be put into practice. Also an illustration of poor planning on the part of those who planned the conference.

As The Infrastructure Bill Inches Forward

There are a few twists and turns in the process of dealing with the infrastructure bill that is before Congress.

The Epoch Times reported yesterday:

Buried in the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” in the U.S. Senate is approval for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to test a new federal tax on every mile driven by individual Americans.

The bill directs Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to establish a pilot program to demonstrate a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee designed “to restore and maintain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund.”

The objectives of the pilot program include:

To test the design, acceptance, implementation, and financial sustainability of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee.

To address the need for additional revenue for surface transportation infrastructure and a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee.

To provide recommendations relating to the adoption and implementation of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee.

Although the new tax is described as a pilot program and would initially rely upon “volunteers” representing all 50 states, the infrastructure measure would also require the Treasury Department to establish a mechanism to collect motor vehicle per-mile user fees from the participants.

Make no mistake–this will eventually be a tax on all Americans if it is allowed to go through.

On Monday, Breitbart reported:

Earlier in the year, President Joe Biden nominated Gayle (Manchin – Senator Joe Manchin’s wife) to be the co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. This commission is an economic development partnership involving the federal government and 13 states.

The Washington Times reported that the bill’s language makes the Appalachian Regional Commission “set to receive an additional billion dollars over the next four years. The new funding is set to increase the agency’s federal budget by more than 50% annually.” This year the commission requested $235 million from the taxpayer-funded federal government for their operation funding. That was already a 30 percent increase from the $175 million they received in 2020.

For this to possibly secure the senator’s vote, the commission, where his wife makes $160 thousand annually, is given an additional $200 million annually to focus on projects, which equals one billion dollars from fiscal years 2022 to 2026. The Times added:

ARC’s funding increase is significantly larger than other federal regional commissions are set to receive in the infrastructure package.

Apart from money, the infrastructure package also expands the ARC’s authority to increase broadband internet access by providing grants and “technical assistance.”

The text of the bill was originally obtained exclusively by Breitbart News from U.S. Senate sources not authorized to leak it after showing “concern that the murky and secretive process behind this bill may have led to widespread corruption throughout its nearly three thousand pages.”

When there are almost three thousand pages in a bill, there are bound to be some questionable items.

And finally, Zero Hedge posted the following today:

An already-tenuous $1 trillion infrastructure spending package has been thrown into further disarray this week, after lawmakers filed nearly 300 amendments to the legislation, according to The Hill, which notes that in several instances “senators are holding their colleagues’ amendments hostage by objecting to voting on them unless their own priorities are also guaranteed a vote.”

Stay tuned.

Much Needed Legislation

Being elected to Congress is a wonderful thing–the prestige, the recognition, joining a very select group of people, and seemingly the opportunity to increase your net worth significantly.

The following Tweet by ZeroHedge was tweeted on September 28, 2020:

Wow! An amazing increase in personal wealth that didn’t actually involve inventing or marketing a product! Unfortunately this is not an isolated example.

The article includes a few more examples from Business Insider:

Burr (North Carolina Senator Richard Burr), who endured a months-long federal investigation into his personal stock trades, last week reported making several recent stock sales along with his wife, Brooke Burr.

The Burrs sold up to $165,000 worth of stock in Enterprise Products Partners, a natural-gas and crude-oil pipeline company, between April 28 and April 30. The company’s stock price has remained effectively level since then.

Brooke Burr also reported selling up to $100,000 in MetLife Inc. floating-rate noncumulative preferred stock and up to $100,000 in US Bancorp depository preferred shares.

Burr, who wasn’t charged, made a flurry of stock sales on February 13, 2020, six days after cowriting an opinion article on FoxNews.com that sought to ease public concern over the threat COVID-19 posed to the US.

“Thankfully, the United States today is better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats, like the coronavirus, in large part due to the work of the Senate Health Committee, Congress, and the Trump Administration,” Burr wrote along with then-Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican.

But on February 27 of last year, Burr — then chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee — told a more dire story to a small, private luncheon gathering at Washington’s tony Capitol Hill Club.

“There’s one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history,” Burr said, according to a secret recording obtained by NPR’s Tim Mak. “It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.”

The Justice Department’s investigation of Burr’s February 2020 stock trades, together valued at more than $1.7 million, centered on whether the senator made his trades based on insider information obtained during senators-only briefings about the COVID-19 threat.

Burr says he is not planning to run for reelection in 2022.

Business Insider also mentions Jim Inhofe:

An aviation enthusiast who announced his 2020 reelection bid by piloting a propeller plane upside down, Sen. Jim Inhofe, a Republican of Oklahoma, has regularly made news over the years for close-call incidents while flying.

More recently, Inhofe sought to remedy another aircraft situation — this time on paper.

In a May 17 letter to the US Senate Secretary Julie Adams, Inhofe acknowledged understating the value of the assets — most notably, airplanes — held by The Padre Company LLC, a limited-liability company that the senator controls.

As of 2019, Inhofe’s LLC held three aircraft together valued at up to $1 million: a 1979 Grumman Tiger, a 1999 RV-8, and a 1979 Cessna 340. It also included real estate.

Inhofe wrote that his letter provided a “total reconciliation of the life of my assets” within The Padre Company LLC, which formed in 1999.

In short, Inhofe had not been previously factoring in the value of the real-estate property as part of his public disclosure of the LLC. Now he is, which is why the reported value of the LLC has increased.

“Ahead of filing his annual disclosures each year, Senator Inhofe discusses it with the Ethics Committee to maximize transparency and ensure he is adhering to the spirit of the law, not just the letter of it,” the spokesperson Leacy Burke told Insider. “Previously, it had been understood that these were considered personal properties and exempt, unreportable assets. This year, in the interest of greater transparency, he was encouraged to file the amendment and include them, as you can see he did.”

It pays to be in Congress, and an attempt to end the insider trading that seems to be rampant there is coming from a rather unlikely source.

Zero Hedge reports:

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wants to end what is effectively legalized insider trading by members of Congress by barring them from trading individual stocks ever again.

Warren first attempted to push through similar legislation with the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act she introduced in 2018 and then again in 2020. Both bills unsurprisingly died in the Senate Finance Committee, which Warren sits on.

The renewed push comes as several members of Congress have come under recent scrutiny for profitable stock trades in recent months, according to Business Insider. The include Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) and former Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia.

Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn sometimes.

 

When Intelligence Became A Political Operation

A friend sent me a link to the article below along with the following note:

Since Obama political appointees have infiltrated the Intelligence Community, it has gone political.   No one before Obama put political appointees there.  For example, in 2012 Obama put his White House lawyer as the NSA AG – never done before – always someone who knew the mission and had risen through the ranks held every position BUT the Director.  As Congress has to approve that position – that is the only position that was ever tainted with politics.  True for all other positions as well.   NSA, NGA, and DIA were always under the Department of Defense umbrella until 911.  After 911 they created a DNI – which caused loyalty issues for those that forgot we took an oath to the constitution not to any department or person.   That’s how Brennan got appointed.   That is how the spying on the Trump campaigned happened – Obama put people in place prior to the 2016 election to enable getting information about the opponent’s campaign to insure HRC won. 

On February 14th, 2021, Zero Hedge posted an article about what has happened to our intelligence community. The article is titled, “Opening The CIA’s Can Of Worms”

The article reports:

“The CIA and the media are part of the same criminal conspiracy,” wrote Douglas Valentine in his important book, The CIA As Organized Crime.

This is true.  The corporate mainstream media are stenographers for the national security state’s ongoing psychological operations aimed at the American people, just as they have done the same for an international audience. 

We have long been subjected to this “information warfare,” whose purpose is to win the hearts and minds of the American people and pacify them into victims of their own complicity, just as it was practiced long ago by the CIA in Vietnam and by The New York Times, CBS, etc. on the American people then and over the years as the American warfare state waged endless wars, coups, false flag operations, and assassinations at home and abroad.

Another way of putting this is to say for all practical purposes when it comes to matters that bear on important foreign and domestic matters, the CIA and the corporate mainstream media cannot be distinguished.

For those who read and study history, it has long been known that the CIA has placed their operatives throughout every agency of the U.S. government, as explained by Fletcher Prouty in The Secret Team; that CIA officers Cord Myer and Frank Wisner operated secret programs to get some of the most vocal exponents of intellectual freedom among intellectuals, journalists, and writers to be their voices for unfreedom and censorship, as explained by Frances Stonor Saunders in The Cultural Cold War and Joel Whitney in Finks, among others; that Cord Myer was especially focused on and successful in “courting the Compatible Left” since right wingers were already in the Agency’s pocket. 

All this is documented and not disputed.  It is shocking only to those who don’t do their homework and see what is happening today outside a broad historical context.

With the rise of alternate media and a wide array of dissenting voices on the internet, the establishment felt threatened and went on the defensive. It, therefore, should come as no surprise that those same elite corporate media are now leading the charge for increased censorship and the denial of free speech to those they deem dangerous, whether that involves wars, rigged elections, foreign coups, COVID-19, vaccinations, or the lies of the corporate media themselves.

There is no way I can summarize this article, so I am asking you to please follow the link and read the entire article.

The article concludes:

Robert Kennedy, Jr., by name and dedication to truth seeking, conjures up his father’s ghost, the last politician who, because of his vast support across racial and class divides, could have united the country and tamed the power of the CIA to control the narrative that has allowed for the plundering of the world and the country for the wealthy overlords.

So they killed him.

There is a reason Noam Chomsky is an exemplar for Hedges, Greenwald, and Taibbi.  He controls the can opener for so many. He has set the parameters for what is considered acceptable to be considered a serious journalist or intellectual.  The assassinations of the Kennedys, 9/11, or a questioning of the official Covid-19 story are not among them, and so they are eschewed.

To denounce censorship, as they have done, is admirable. But now Greenwald, Taibbi, and Hedges need go up to the forbidden gate with the sign that says – “This far and no further” – and jump over it.  That’s where the true stories lie.  That’s when they’ll see the worms squirm.

If we don’t limit the actions of the Intelligence Community and their ability to control the news Americans actually receive, we will lose our republic.

 

 

 

Exactly What Is In The Coronavirus Stimulus Bill?

ZeroHedge posted an article today with the breakdown of the coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress.

The article includes the following chart:

You can decide for yourself how much of this is related to the coronavirus.

The article reports:

Within hours, Congress is set to vote on (and pass) a $900 billion Covid-19 aid bill that includes assistance for households and businesses, as well as funding for vaccine distribution and more. As discussed previously, the bill excludes the Republican priority of liability protections for businesses and other entities, and left the key Democrat demand of state and local bailouts.

In a nutshell, the new package extends federal UI programs (e.g. PUA, PEUC) with an extra $300/week for all UI claimants for at least an additional 11 weeks.

The article concludes:

One final point: no more stimulus?

As we reported last week, Goldman’s economists believe that this is the last major COVID-focused fiscal package. Assuming that President-elect Biden is facing a divided Congress next year, this looks likely to be the last fiscal package that Congress passes worth several hundred billion dollars or more (as by 2021 covid vaccines will be widely distributed making the passage of another broad-based stimulus virtually impossible). That said, Goldman does expect another debate over fiscal support in Q1, ahead of the expiration of the extended unemployment provisions in March. However, since Congress left the most difficult issues out of the current package, it seems unlikely that lawmakers will be able to agree on those in subsequent legislation. Of course, this would likely change if Democrats win both Senate seats in Georgia on January 5 and reach 50 seats in the Senate. In that scenario, Goldman would expect at least another few hundred billion in additional fiscal measures, including aid to states.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. I explains much of what is in this bill.

Modern Monetary Theory Ends In Ghana

Zero Hedge posted an article today with the headline, “Ghana Becomes First Country To Officially End MMT Experiment.” MMT is the abbreviation for Modern Monetary Theory. It’s basic tenet is that printing an endless supply of money and having a central bank fund the  deficit. Basically as long as the spending is kept within your own country, your citizens will not notice how worthless their money has become.

The article reports:

There are just two problems: MMT is neither modern, nor monetary, nor is it a theory, although economists – especially socialists – are delighted to define it as such as it validates their worldview that somehow society can get richer if only people print more money, as if nobody has thought of that before (spoiler alert: they have, and the consequences have been devastating every time).

We won’t waste readers’ time on the intellectually bankrupt garbage that is socialist philosophy (because it is nothing more than that) that is the “Magic Money Tree” (See “MMT: Not Modern, Not Monetary, Not A Theory“) but we will note that some countries are smart enough to know that going down the money printing route leads to disaster. We will also point out that it is not a western nation – all of those advanced countries are desperately printing money in hopes of sparking currency devaluation and at least modest hyperinflation – but an African country that is now the epitome of sound monetary practices.

On Friday, Bank of Ghana Governor Ernest Addison effectively shut down MMT in his country when he ruled out providing more loans to the government to help narrow the budget shortfall, saying it would put exchange-rate stability at risk (for those confused: virtually every single developed and developing central bank is currently doing just that – printing money to fund the government deficit).

The central bank shelved its zero-financing policy this year to lend the government 10 billion cedis ($1.7 billion) to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the West African economy. The bank ended its explicit support of fiscal policy just as Ghana’s budget deficit is projected to reach 11.4% of GDP by the end of December, more than triple the initial target of 4.7% of GDP.

The article concludes:

And so one MMT experiment ends with a whimper, although since no other central bank is willing to to take “difficult decisions”, it will be a while before Ghana’s shining example is followed by other central banks.

Ghana’s cedi has had its most stable spell in more than a decade this year, weakening 2.6% to the U.S. dollar. That’s even as the global health crisis drove Ghana’s ratio of debt to gross domestic product to 71% in September, the highest in four years. And now that wanton money printing is out of the agenda, the cedi may soon well be one of the world’s most valuable fiat currencies.

Hang on to your hat. I don’t want to see the day when a loaf of bread costs ten dollars, but that is the danger on the road ahead.

American Ingenuity At Work

Zero Hedge posted an article today about a New York City pub owner who has had enough of Governor Cuomo’s shutdown orders that have closed his business.

The article reports:

In what is a hilarious bit of irony for Democrat politicians in New York, a pub that had its liquor license yanked due to Covid rules has now declared itself an “Autonomous Zone” and is continuing to do business.

The bar, called Mac’s Public House in Staten Island, said publicly: “We refuse to abide by any rules and regulations put forth by the Mayor of NYC and Governor of NY State.”

They also painted “AUTONOMOUS ZONE” on the sidewalk outside the bar and put signs in the windows claiming “As of November 20, 2020, we hereby declare this establishment an AUTONOMOUS ZONE”.

The pub had its liquor license revoked by the state and was slapped with thousands of dollars in fines after defying New York’s latest move to “orange zone status” (whatever that means) thanks to the very huge brain of “Emmy nominated” Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

Co-owner Danny Presti told The Post: “At this point, we’re OK with it, because we’re not paying it. [The Sheriff’s Department] is issuing us $1,000 fines, so they keep coming back. We’re still here. We’re not letting them in.”

Co-owner Keith McAlarney said in a recent YouTube video: “We’re not backing down. You think you scared me by . . . saying I don’t have a license now to serve liquor now? Well guess what? That liquor license is on the wall. If that liquor license is gonna come off the wall, it’s gonna be done by Cuomo. You wanna come down here and pull that license off the wall?”

To me, the interesting thing about the lockdowns is who they impact. Many small businesses have been forced out of business while big box stores and Amazon are making huge profits. Most of the people who frequent bars are not in an age group that is at high risk of complications from the coronavirus.

My husband and I have recently recovered from the coronavirus. We have no idea how or when we became infected–we wore our masks when required and we not generally in large groups of people. We continually interacted with the same ten or so people that we generally interact with. No one in that group of people has been infected by the virus. When we began feeling like we were coming down with a cold, we went into isolation because we didn’t what to share whatever we had. We didn’t find out it was coronavirus until five days into it. However, during those five days, we self-isolated. Closing down businesses is an overreaction. Years ago when I took a course on food safety, one of the things mentioned was that if a restaurant employee showed up at work with a cold, he could be assigned to chores that did not involve food preparation or interacting with customers. A little bit of common sense would solve a lot of the spread of this virus.

 

A Very Valid Question

Zero Hedge posted an article today that asks a very interesting question.

This is the question?

Why Does Biden Have So Many More Votes Than Democrat Senators In Swing States?

The article continues:

In most elections, the majority of votes are cast “down the ticket” – meaning, a voter supports both party’s presidential nominee and state Congressional candidates. In fact, according to Pew Research, “overwhelming shares of voters who are supporting Trump and Biden say they are also supporting the same-party candidate for Senate.”

Typically, this means that that the number of votes for a presidential candidate and that party’s Senate candidates are relatively close.

Twitter user “US Rebel” (@USRebellion1776), however, found that the number of votes cast for Joe Biden far exceeds those cast for that state’s Senate candidates in swing states, while those cast for Trump and GOP Senators remains far closer.

The article includes the following tweets from US Rebel:

Hmmm.